November 5, 2013
Simple to understand, we own our “individual rights,” such as our Bill of Rights. Government owns the “privileges” government provides, such as public welfare, public housing, public education, driving, etc. Nearly everything that government subsidizes is a privilege that government owns.
Individual rights are essential for freedom. Some privileges are essential for the safety of citizens.
What concerns me is politicians (and citizens) referring to our individual rights as government provided privileges, and vice versa.
As an example, Senator Diane Feinstein recently referred to the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights as a “special privilege.” Also, I often hear people referring to different forms of government provided welfare as an “individual right” when they are really privileges.
To add to the confusion, some educators refer to our individual rights as “negative rights,” while referring to government provided privileges as “positive rights.” It is claimed that our negative rights interfere with the positive rights government is trying to provide.
Just remember, if we as individuals own the “right” it’s our individual right. If government owns (or controls) the “right” it’s really a privilege.
Our Declaration of Independence recognizes that every individual is born with certain “unalienable rights,” which come from our creator, not from government. Think of our individual rights as a privilege that comes from our creator. Every individual has a force field of individual rights around us (including our Bill of Rights), which protects us from each other and from government itself.
Our founding fathers recognized that if citizens believed our individual rights came from government (not from our creator) then our rights would become a worthless “special privilege” (as Senator Feinstein refers to them). There would be no protection from a government that would have unlimited power over citizens to distribute, modify, and rescind their privileges.
In a system of excessive privileges, citizens become a slave of government in the form of excessive debt (and taxes) to pay for the privileges and by conforming to the excessive requirements of the privileges.
Modern day totalitarian systems, such as the Nazi, soviet, and current worldwide “Communitarian” system are collectivist systems of privileges without individual rights. Everything, including all life, is considered a “special privilege” owned by government. The cream of corruption rises to the top as selfish (sometimes well intentioned) individuals gain government control over fellow citizens’ privileges for their own personal agendas.
In the Nazi and soviet systems of privileges, over 150 million citizens were murdered by their own governments, because citizens had only their worthless “special privilege” to protect them.
The United Nations is a system of privileges without individual rights. The United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” should be called the “Universal Declaration of Human Privileges.” Every so-called “Human Right” is a privilege owned by the United Nations. Article 29 states, “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
Imagine our Bill of Rights stating “All Bill of Rights may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the Federal Government.” Our Bill of Rights would be a worthless “special privilege” with no protection from government.
In past commentaries I have written against the communitarianism ideology and communitarian policies adopted worldwide, including in the United States and in Napa County. An example of communitarian policies is Agenda 21/ Sustainable Development. Everything, including all life within the local and international “community” is considered a “special privilege.”
Written into our Napa County General Plan is the definition of communitarianism, which calls for “balancing the rights of the individual with the rights of the community.” The “rights of the community” include government controlled privileges and policies. When government believes it can “balance” our individual rights with their privileges and policies, government implies ownership over our individual rights--you can’t “balance” what you don’t own. Meaning everything, including all life within the community is considered a “special privilege.”
March 21, 2012 I spoke with my Napa County Sheriff John Robertson about communitarianism. The first thing he told me was “you know you surrender some of your rights to live in the community.” When asked how individual rights are protected, he said that I needed to “join a council or committee and work on changing things from within.” The only way for me to protect individual rights was to become part of government. Sheriff Robertson was implying that within the community individual rights are a “special privilege” owned and controlled by government.
August 10, 2012, I met with Napa Mayor Jill Techel to discuss communitarianism (including what Sheriff Robertson said). During our discussion, she asked the question “Don’t we elect representatives to balance rights?” Mayor Techel implied individual rights within the community are a “special privilege” owned and controlled by government. My reply was “Where does the power end if government believes it can balance individual rights?”
Napa Sheriff Robertson and Napa Mayor Techel are not alone in their support of communitarianism. The Republican and Democrat Parties promote communitarianism. Most conservative and liberal organizations promote communitarianism. Most Tea Party organizations promote communitarianism. The Birch Society New American magazine promotes communitarianism. Most churches promote communitarianism—in his January 1, 2013 speech, Pope Benedict said “communitarian development” was “part of God’s plan for mankind.”
Many citizens may not know it by the term “communitarianism” but most have bought into the idea that individual rights within the context of “community” are a “special privilege” owned and controlled by government.